Kvitova delights in 'special' comeback win
Petra Kvitova was understandably delighted after marking her return to competitive action with an outstanding performance in round one of the French Open.
Six months on from suffering severe damage to her left hand when she was stabbed by an intruder who had broken into her apartment, Kvitova made a welcome comeback at Roland Garros on Sunday.
What is more, the Czech played as if she had never been away, defeating Julia Boserup 6-3 6-2 to comfortably book her place in round two.
"I feel great," said the two-time Wimbledon champion in a news conference. "As I said last time [before the tournament], I already won. This match [was] special to me. I won for the second time."
Kvitova's return delighted the fans on Court Philippe Chatrier, with the 27-year-old grateful to receive a "really heartwarming welcome" as she entered the court.
"My team was there. My family was there. Everyone who helped me through the difficult time. So it was a real pleasure to play in front of them and play how I played," she added.
"I think I played well after six months off. I'm happy with the game, of course, but I mean, it wasn't really about the game.
"I maybe thought I would cry when I stepped on the court, but I didn't, which actually I was happy [about], because normally I can control my emotion on the court so I'm happy I kind of did it this time as well.
"There were a few tears after the match point. Of course going as a winner from the centre court was much better than stepping on the court."
Encouragingly, Kvitova was not troubled by any pain in the hand she had injured so badly.
"I didn't feel any difference, which is nice," she explained. "I was happy that I didn't have any pain.
"I promised my doctor, who gave me the green light, that if I feel pain in my hand during the match or in the practice, I'm stopping immediately. So I'm glad that I didn't.
"From the beginning [of her return to training], I had my fingers swollen a lot. I hit for like 15 minutes, for example, then we had to just finish the practices. But I have to say, the last one month [there] was no pain at all. So I'm happy that it's still continuing like that."